The Southmont wrestling team won the Crawfordsville sectional Saturday with a team score of 244.5. North Montgomery was second at 236.
The Southmont wrestling team won the Crawfordsville sectional Saturday with a team score of 244.5. North Montgomery was second at 236.
All season long the Southmont wrestling team has known it was one of the best teams in the area, and even the state. They showed that with a third-place finish at the IHSWCA Team State Duals. But at the Montgomery County and Sagamore Athletic Conference meets, the Mounties left disappointed, with second and third place finishes.

Saturday at the IHSAA sectional at Crawfordsville, the Mounties left victorious.

The Mounties won six of the 14 weight classes and placed 12 wrestlers in the top-four to amass 244.5 points and edge out North Montgomery, which gained 236 points. Crawfordsville finished third with 154 points.

"Conference was a huge motivation," Southmont head coach Kevin Wilkinson said. "It was either going to make us a better team and we were going to come here and do what we did today or we were going to come here and lay an egg. It was probably the best thing that ever happened to us. From that day until today I had guys start believing in their abilities and start pushing guys and working harder at practice. They knew what they were doing wasn't getting it done before."

The Mounties had eight wrestler vying for first place. Six champions matched last year's total.

Alex Grino and Evan Hubble kick-started the Southmont championship round with pins to win 106 and 113 pounds. Boone Welliever followed suit with a pin to take 126. Connor Moore picked up crucial bonus points in the championship of 138 by picking up three near-fall points to give him a major decision.

One of the most crucial weight classes came at 170. Southmont's Zach Worm and North Montgomery's Kobi Wray traded wins earlier this season. Worm won at county, Wray at conference. Worm took this round, winning a 6-4 decision that was vital in Southmont's win.

"It's amazing to come out and win a sectional as a team," Worm said. "It's amazing to finally come out and get it done. After county and conference a lot of people said we couldn't do it. We came and showed up today.

"It was a lot more intense in the (practice) room since conference," Worm added. "Winning 170 felt really good. I finally got to prove people wrong."

Senior Caleb Martin put the final stamp on the win by getting a pin at 220.

"This is what we expected to do. We've been beaten twice by North this year and we knew that all 13 of our guys had to come out and do their job today and we finally got it done," Martin said. "We've had two solid weeks of practice and everybody getting after it in the room.

"We knew that North was close and that a win at 220 we would seal the deal," Martin added.

Wayne Highfield was second at 145 pounds and Anthony Gregg was second at 195. Of the 12 weight classes that Southmont had wrestlers competing in the placement round, eight of them won their last match. Winning in the placement round is often the biggest difference in team scores in an individual tournament. Austin Williams, Dakota Ball, Kyle McManus and Josh Weir join the wrestlers named above as regional qualifiers.

"Vindication," is how Wilkinson summed up the feeling. "There were a lot of people that doubted us. People questioned our toughness, and rightfully so. After conference a lot of people called our team soft and I had to agree with them. And we talked about that with our team. This is how they responded. We felt like we had the better team but we didn't prove that. That's what it's all about. Today we finally proved that."

The 12 advancing wrestlers will go to the North Montgomery regional on Saturday to be paired with the Zionsville sectional. The top four regional wrestlers will advance, same as sectional.